ATTACHMENT B STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT OF THE NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING ALLIANCE AGAINST ALLSTATE CORPORATION

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1 ATTACHMENT B STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT OF THE NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING ALLIANCE AGAINST ALLSTATE CORPORATION This Complaint arises out of an investigation by the National Fair Housing Alliance ( NFHA ) into suspected discriminatory redlining in the provision of residential hazard insurance (otherwise known as homeowners insurance ) in and around Wilmington, Delaware. As a result of its investigation, NFHA has discovered that Respondent Allstate Corporation ( Allstate ) refuses to underwrite homeowners insurance policies for homes that have flat roofs in the Wilmington area. Accompanying statistical research demonstrates that Allstate s no flat roof policy (employed in Wilmington and surrounding areas) has a racially disparate impact on African-American and minority communities, who are significantly more likely to reside in (or seek to reside in) areas that have a concentration of homes with flat roofs. Accordingly, Allstate s practices in Wilmington (and the surrounding communities) violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C et seq, which prohibits any and all forms of discrimination by homeowners insurers on the basis of race. HUD has consistently accepted and investigated complaints alleging discrimination in the provision of homeowners insurance and has been a party to some of the most significant Conciliation Agreements involving homeowners insurers, including one to which Allstate was a party. See, e.g., HUD Case No (Conciliation Agreement with Allstate); HUD Case Nos , (Conciliation Agreement with State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.). Under HUD s interpretive regulations, providing residential hazard insurance on different terms because of race is a prohibited activity under the Fair Housing Act. 24 C.F.R (d)(4). Although insurance and insurers are not mentioned in the Fair Housing Act explicitly, federal courts have given deference to HUD s interpretation of the statute, 1 holding that the Fair Housing Act applies to (and prohibits) all types of discriminatory insurance practices. See, e.g., Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Cisneros, 52 F.3d 1351, 1360 (6th Cir. 1995); United Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Metro. Human Relations Comm n, 24 F.3d 1008, 1016 (7th Cir. 1994); NAACP v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 978 F.2d 287, 301 (7th Cir. 1992); Nevels v. Western World Ins. Co. Inc., 359 F. Supp. 2d 1110, (W.D. Wash. 2004); Nat l Fair Housing Alliance Inc. v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 208 F. Supp. 2d 46, (D.D.C. 2002); Wai v. Allstate Ins. Co., 75 F. Supp. 2d 1, 5-8 (D.D.C. 1999); Lindsey v. Allstate Ins. Co., 34 F. Supp. 2d 636, (W.D. Tenn. 1999); Strange v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 867 F. Supp. 1209, 1212, (E.D. Pa. 1994). In doing so, courts have recognized the obvious link between the ability to obtain homeowners insurance and the ability to obtain housing homeowners insurance is a necessary prerequisite to home ownership. See, e.g., American Family, 978 F.2d at , 300; Nationwide, 52 F.3d at 1360; U.S. v. Mass. Indus. Fin. Agency, 910 F. Supp. 21, 27 (D. Mass. 1996). 1 HUD s regulation is entitled to deference under Chevron U.S.A, Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, (1984). 1

2 The facts supporting NFHA s allegations and evidencing Allstate s discriminatory conduct are described in greater detail below. PARTIES Founded in 1988, Complainant NFHA is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to ending discrimination in housing. NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal opportunity for all people through leadership, education and outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, advocacy, and enforcement. NFHA is a consortium of more than 220 private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals throughout the United States. Respondent Allstate was founded in 1931 and is currently the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America. As of year-end 2011, Allstate had $125.6 billion in total assets, was number 93 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in America, and had nearly 12,000 exclusive agencies and financial representatives in the United States and Canada. In 1997, Allstate signed a three-year Conciliation Agreement with HUD and NFHA to resolve previous fair housing administrative complaints that NFHA originally filed against Allstate in 1994 for discriminatory underwriting guidelines that had a disparate impact on minority communities and minority homeowners. See HUD Case No The instant Complaint focuses exclusively on Allstate s activities in and around Wilmington, Delaware. DISCRIMINATORY CONDUCT A. NFHA s Testing Proves That Allstate Refuses to Insure Homes With Flat Roofs in and around Wilmington, Delaware. Beginning in May 2012, NFHA s testers contacted six insurance agencies in Wilmington, Delaware two of which wrote homeowners insurance policies exclusively for Allstate. At least two NFHA testers separately contacted each agency for a homeowners insurance quote; each tester provided the insurance agent with similar information about the home the tester was seeking to insure, including that the home had a flat roof. NFHA s testing revealed that Allstate refuses to write homeowners insurance policies for homes with flat roofs in Wilmington. Each of the four, independent insurance agencies (that do not write insurance policies exclusively for Allstate), provided homeowners insurance quotes to at least one of the NFHA testers who contacted it, despite the fact that the home the tester was attempting to insure had a flat roof. In contrast, the NFHA testers who contacted the Allstate agencies did not receive a quote for homeowners insurance or any follow-up contact from an Allstate insurance agent regarding their inquiries about homeowners insurance for a home with a flat roof. An Allstate agent told one NFHA tester that Allstate would have no market for their house because the home had a flat roof; the same agency informed a second NFHA tester that Allstate does not underwrite any policies on homes with flat roofs. The NFHA testers who contacted the second Allstate agency were similarly informed about Allstate s no flat roof policy. The same agent told 2

3 two NFHA testers (who separately contacted the Allstate agent on different dates) that Allstate had stopped writing flat roofs. B. Allstate s Policy Has a Disparate Impact on African-American Homeowners and African-American Neighborhoods in Wilmington, Delaware. In December 2010, the University of Delaware s Center for Community Research and Service ( CCRS ) completed a study establishing the relationship between roof type and race in New Castle County, Delaware, which includes Wilmington and its surrounding areas. 2 CCRS s study revealed a strong, statistical correlation between the percentage of flat roof dwellings in a given area and the percentage of African-American or minority owner-occupied housing units; areas that had a higher percentage of African-American or minority owner-occupied housing units also had a higher percentage of homes with flat roofs. On the other hand, the data reflected that as the percentage of white households within a given area increased, the percentage of units within that census tract with flat roofs decreased. Specifically, CCRS s study employed geographic information systems and statistical software to investigate the correlation between race and roof type at the census tract level (by considering the percentage of minority households and the percentage of homes with flat roofs within a given census tract). 3 Demographic and other housing data were obtained from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Data on roof type was based on tax parcel information, which included both information on roof type and grid number (a defined, geographic area that is larger than a block but smaller than a census tract). 4 There were a total of 648 grids, with 164,963 dwelling units, that had roof type data within the relevant area. 5 After determining the roof and demographic characteristics for each grid, and aggregating the data to the larger census tract level, researchers ran analyses to ascertain the correlation between roof type and racial characteristics of the households within a given census tract. 6 Several correlation analyses were conducted to measure the strength and direction of any linear relationship between the variables. A positive relationship between two variables means that as the value of one variable increases, the value of the other variable increases as well; if there is a negative relationship, the two variables move in opposite directions. The closer the correlation is to +1.0 or -1.0, the stronger the relationship (either positive or negative) between the variables being analyzed. CCRS s findings are summarized in the table below: 2 Kate Kuholski, et al., Study of Residential Hazard Insurance Discrimination in New Castle County, Delaware, Technical Addendum, Analysis of Flat Roof Dwelling Units in New Castle County, Delaware (December 2010). 3 Id. at 1. 4 Id. 5 Id. 6 Id. 3

4 Variable Correlation of Key Racial Variables with Percentage of Flat Roof Owner-Occupied Dwelling Unity by Census Tract 7 Pearson Dwelling units owned and occupied by African-American and non-hispanic households as a percent of all owner-occupied dwelling units Dwelling units owned and occupied by White and non-hispanic households as a percent of all owner-occupied dwelling units Dwelling units owned and occupied by White and non-hispanic households as a percent of all renter- and owner-occupied dwelling units Dwelling units owned and occupied by non-white and or/hispanic households as a percent of all owner-occupied dwelling units Significance 9 Correlation With a significant correlation of over 0.7, the study reveals that census tracts with a higher percentage of African-American or minority owner-occupied units also have a higher percentage of homes with flat roofs. 10 The correlations of and establish that as the percentage of white households increase within a given census tract, the percentage of homes with flat roofs in that census tract decrease. 11 Next, researchers conducted four regression analyses to further determine the relationship between race and roof type. Regression analysis involves identifying the relationship between a dependent variable (in this case, the percentage of owner-occupied flat roof dwellings) and one or more independent variables (four combinations of the race/ethnicity of owner-occupied households). The results of the four regression analyses are summarized below: Simple Bivariate Regressions of Percentage of Owner Occupied Flat Roof Dwellings (Dependent Variable) and the Race/Ethnicity of Housing Unit Householders (Independent Variable) by Census Tract 12 Variable Coefficient Significance Adjusted R² Dwelling units owned and occupied by African- American and non-hispanic households as a percent of all owner-occupied dwelling units Dwelling units owned and occupied by White and non-hispanic households as a percent of all Id. at 3. 8 The Pearson correlation (a commonly used measure of correlation) measures the strength of linear dependence between two variables. 9 The significance column illustrates the probability of any of the correlation levels occurring by chance. In this case, as reflected in the table, the probability of any of the correlation levels detailed in the table occurring by chance is extremely low. 10 Kate Kuholski, et al., Study of Residential Hazard Insurance Discrimination in New Castle County, Delaware, at Id. 12 Id. at 4. 4

5 owner-occupied dwelling units Dwelling units owned and occupied by White and non-hispanic households as a percent of all renter- and owner-occupied dwelling units Dwelling units owned and occupied by non- White and/or Hispanic households as a percent of all owner-occupied dwelling units The adjusted R² value, reflected in the last column of the table above, measures the proportion of variation in the dependent variable (the percentage of owner-occupied homes with flat roofs) accounted for by the independent variable(s) (race/ethnicity). This value essentially explains how well one variable predicts another. In this case, the adjusted R² value for each analysis was over 50%, which means that race/ethnicity accounted for over 50% of the variation of the percentage of owner-occupied flat roof dwelling units in a census tract. 13 The coefficients, reflected in the second column of the table, illustrate that for a 1% increase in the variable of race/ethnicity, there is a corresponding increase of almost 1% in the percentage of homes with flat roofs in a census tract. 14 The data reflects a negative relationship between white households and homes with flat roofs. Additional analyses demonstrated that homes within Wilmington proper have a disproportionate share of flat roof residences as compared to non-wilmington census tracts. The researchers inserted a variable to indicate whether a census tract was inside or outside of Wilmington. 15 The adjusted R² value for each was over 0.84, which establishes that location inside or outside of Wilmington and the race/ethnicity of owner-occupied households together accounted for over 84% of the variation of the percentage of owner-occupied flat roof dwelling units in a census tract. 16 Wilmington s population was 54% African-American and 36% white as of the 2000 Census (the data relied upon in the study). The statistical evidence proves that Allstate s policy disproportionately impacts African- American and minority communities, as there is a statistically significant relationship between minority populations and homes that have flat roofs. Coupled with NFHA s testing, which illustrates that Allstate refuses to insure homes with flat roofs in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas, Complainant has established a prima facie case that Allstate s no flat roof policy has a racially disparate impact on African-American and minority communities in violation of the Fair Housing Act. C. There Exists No Legitimate Business Justification for Allstate s No Flat Roof Policy. NFHA s testing also reveals the absence of any legitimate, business justification for Allstate s practice of refusing to write insurance policies for homes with flat roofs in Wilmington and surrounding areas. Allstate s agents did not disclose any business justification for Allstate s 13 Id. at Id. at Id. at Id. 5

6 policy. In addition, a number of local insurance agencies provided testers with homeowners insurance quotes for homes with flat roofs. Allstate therefore cannot demonstrate a legitimate business justification to rebut the strong inference of discrimination when other insurance agencies, that provide the same product in the same geographic area, do not similarly refuse to write policies for homes with flat roofs. Moreover, following the results of NFHA s testing of insurance providers in Wilmington, Delaware, NFHA tested Allstate insurance companies in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NFHA testers, purporting to seek information about homeowners insurance for homes with flat roofs, each contacted two, separate Allstate insurance companies in each jurisdiction. The investigation revealed that Allstate does not have a policy against insuring homes with flat roofs in these cities. The absence of a similar policy employed by Allstate agencies in neighboring jurisdictions further serves to eliminate the possibility of a legitimate business justification for Allstate s practices in the Wilmington area. INJURY TO NFHA CAUSED BY RESPONDENT As a result of Allstate s discriminatory conduct, homeowners and individuals in the communities that NFHA serve have been, and continue to be, significantly injured. Allstate s practices in the Wilmington area interfere with the ability of (largely minority) individuals to obtain homeowners insurance, which, in turn, interferes with their ability to attain and maintain home ownership. NFHA has also been harmed by Allstate s actions. NFHA has devoted significant resources to investigate and counteract Allstate s discriminatory policy. The time and expense that NFHA has spent investigating this Complaint has frustrated its mission and diverted scarce resources from other activities, such as education and outreach, client counseling, and community development. 6

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